Hang Gliding and Para Gliding
Andalucia offers excellent flying sites and conditions for pilots of all levels and visiting pilots are welcomed through a network of clubs in Granada, Cordoba, Malaga, Jaen, Seville, and Cadiz.
The headquarters of the Malaga hang gliding and paragliding club is in El Valle de Abdalajis which is also known as the Flight Capital.
The winner of the Spanish National paraglider competion was recently won by a José Reina from this village and his younger brother won the world cup in 2013.
The main flying areas around El Valle de Abdalajis are suitable for both hang gliding and para gliding and the three take of sites are all accesible by car and within half an hours driving from La Majada Alta and Loma la Parra.
The East wind take off can be reached by taking the El Chorro road out of the village and turning right to head up the mountain or alternatively by turning left from Majada Alta along the base of La Huma mountain and left again towadrds the take off. The landing site is at the edge of the village and top landing is common for para gliders and just possible for advanced hang glider pilots.
An average “off season ” flight here would be a comfortable 2 hours at 300 metres above take off and on a good day in the winter you can cross to La Huma and expect height gains of 500 metres or more. In the warmer months thermals can take you to 1000 metres above take off with out and return to El Torcal a good possibility.
On the other side of the mountains you can take off overlooking the lake with a north west wind . In very light winds, thermal activity will often improve conditions here by the late afternoon. There is enormous scope to enjoy your flying here with voyages out across the lake or along the ridge towards the El Chorro gorge or cross the big gap to La Capilla . The lake tends to store heat during the day whichis released as the sun lowers. This results in what the Spanish call un colchon or mattress, meaning that you can cruise for ages in very little sink well away from the mountain. Truly Free Flight.
Similar conditions can be found from the north wind take off on the nearby La Capilla mountain. If coming from the N.W. take off, La Capilla is a stepping stone to make the journey to El Torcal. We are no longer allowed to take off from El Torcal but again the flying here is spectacular and it is possible to continue along the mountain range towards Loja and on to the coast at Velez Malaga.
There is ample landing for para gliders by the lake and just below La Capilla. The hang glider landing is mid way between the two take off points and is a a little tight. Better to land by the lake if you can. There are lots of landing areas below the northside of El Torcal but quite tight on the East.
The flying here is really quite amazing and apart from rainy days or very windy days you can fly all through the year. Perhaps the some of most memorable experiences for visiting pilots will be to fly wing tip to wing tip with eagles and those masters of the sky, griffin vultures. And the welcome from the local flyers and the pleasure of the uncrowded skies all adds up to a really great holiday.
For those who would like a taste of free flight, tandem flights by para glider can be arranged with one of the local schools. If you have already decided to attempt a flight, please contact Colin who can make preparations in advance of your visit.